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National Night Out hopes to show support while bringing the community together

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 10:56 PM CDT
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MANCHESTER, Iowa (KCRG) - Getting to see the equipment up close and the faces of first responders was why Andrew Begley, of Marion, his family, and so many others attended National Night out events.

Begley wanted his kids to build a bond with first responders.

“One thing I don’t want was my kids to be afraid of law enforcement,” Begley said. “Between police and EMS, we want them to know they help people.”

Begley said he also wanted to show his support for the people who wore the uniform.

“I don’t want my kids to get to a point they felt scared,” Begley said.

In Manchester, a group in Delaware County was going further. The group “Pay It Forward” set up a “Back the Blue” event.

“Whether it be a national, state, or community level, we want people to know cops are not the bad guys,” Mindi Jackson, the founder of the group, said.

Jackson formed the group to focus on helping people who may need a hand during the pandemic. In this case, she felt all of the money should go towards Linn County Deputy William Halverson who was shot while trying to stop a robbery in Coggon.

“My son was in the car with me, and we passed a cop,” Jackson said. “He said ‘oh, mom, we passed a cop. She said they might put you in jail or write you a ticket.’ I told him we weren’t afraid of cops.”

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